Trip Planning? Start with Your Travel Budget Travel, money and happiness are connected. However, when money is spent on things, the happieness from the expense tends to diminish over time. Then it gets into the details of budgeting. But getting back to happiness, if you pay for your trip on a credit card, try to pay off the card before you leave.

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In fact, it was purposely designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The town is so incredibly romantic and photogenic, and there are lots of food and cheese shops. Try the world-famous local wines. This is one day trip that I recommend doing as an organized tour. If you want to do it solo, I recommend renting a car. The town of Fiesole is on a mountain overlooking Florence. It actually predates Florence — it was settled by the Etruscans in the 8th-9th century BC.

Beyond that, the church itself is worth a visit. Visit the Bandini Museum. See the Roman amphitheater. The best Roman ruins close to Florence are in Fiesole! Explore this amphitheater and enjoy the acoustic perfection. They even put on performances here during the summer. You can easily combine this with a fun-filled day in Florence.

Take the minute high-speed train, leave early and come back late, and buy skip-the-line tickets for the attractions you want to see the lines at the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums are particularly brutal.

Rome is the alpha and the omega. The food is spectacular and varied. Whatever you are looking for in Rome, you can craft your experience to your own personal tastes. These museums are full of priceless art by artist like Raphael, Leonardo, and Giotto, but the best prize is the last hall you see: the Sistine Chapel, painstakingly painted by Michelangelo.

It is nothing short of spectacular. Visit St. The largest church in the world is not for the faint-hearted. Explore the Colosseum. Easily one of the symbols of Rome and Italy?

The world?! Get skip-the-line tickets and a Forum tour here. Check out the Roman Forum. Rome is a city where the ancient stands tall amongst the modern. But the Forum is where you get to see the greatest concentration of ancient monuments, including Via Sacre and the House of Vestal Virgins. Of all the sunset spots in Rome, this one is my favorite. You get incredible views over St.

Wander Trastevere. Dive into Roman cuisine. And you can always go on a food tour of Roman specialties! Explore the Villa Borghese. Be sure to buy skip-the-line tickets. I think all visitors to Italy should visit Rome — but the amount of time you should spend in Rome depends on who you are as a traveler. If you hate big cities or get nevous in urban environments, a day trip from Florence might be best for you. Check rates on Rome hotels here.

It was built on a hill made of volcanic ash to keep enemies from being able to invade. Best Things to Do in Orvieto Go underground and taste wine. Orvieto is built on a network of caves and traveling underground is a way to see how people lived in this town for centuries! Visit the Duomo di Orvieto. Inside, though, it has scenes from the Last Judgment painted by Luca Signorelli that inspired Michelangelo when he was called to paint the Sistine Chapel.

Shop for ceramics. This is a good town for souvenir shopping. Orvieto is also conveniently located between Florence and Rome. I recommend booking a city tour of Orvieto and buying your own train tickets from Florence to Orvieto. If it was inspiring enough for Shakespeare — not to mention Mozart and Goethe — Verona will be just as inspiring for you. Though be sure to have your travel companion stay on the ground to get the perfect shot of you from below!

Your entrance fee to the Casa di Giulietta museum includes a stop on the balcony. Visit the Roman ruins. Verona is home to several pieces of ruins, including an enormous arena where you can see opera performed in the summer! Visit the Giardino Giusti. This garden is a perfect example of superb Italian design — carefully carved bushes, tall Cypress trees, immaculate statues, and perfect fountains.

Sample the wines of the Veneto. Tuscany may have its Chianti and Rosso di Montalcino, but the Veneto counters with prosecco and Amarone. Learn about the wines and sample them on a Verona wine tasting tour. Verona is a bit of a hike from Florence — the train journey is close to three hours, making it just about the maximum transportation time you would want for a day trip.

Many tours add in a visit to nearby Lake Garda, on the edge of the Dolomites, to make this journey even more worth it.

If the heat is getting to you on a summer trip to Italy, leave the sweltering city behind and head straight for the beach. Viareggio is awesome when you need a beach, but nobody will mistake it for the best beaches in Italy.

Even so, sometimes you just need to get the job done, and Viareggio more than gets it done. Italians tend to book a chair and umbrella from a seller on the beach; this is far more common than bringing your own chairs and umbrellas. These clubs often have changing facilities and bathroom facilities for their paying members.

Celebrate Carnevale. Venice may get all the Carnevale fame, but Viareggio puts on a rollicking celebration of its own. I recommend booking your train tickets from Florence to Viareggio at the station. Is this the influence of nearby Switzerland? You decide. Thanks for the high-speed Frecciarosa trains, Milan is now one hour and 45 minutes from Florence, making it a perfect distance for a day trip.

Be sure to book a high-speed train because the local trains could take hours longer. This almost always has a long line, so I urge you to buy skip-the-line tickets. Visit the Duomo of Milan. This is where to go to shop at Prada, Gucci, and other high-end brands, both Italian and international. Visit Teatro La Scala. This sumptuously decorated opera house is one of the most famous theaters in Europe! Try some Milanese specialties. I recommend booking a Milan city tour with skip-the-line tickets for The Last Supper , and booking your high speed train tickets from Florence at the station.

Elba, like Cinque Terre, is a very ambitious day trip from Florence. Of all the trips on this list, Elba is the longest and most complicated one to do independently and it can take a long time to do via public transportation, so I recommend you do it with a tour.

A tour from Florence will bring you to the coast, then on a ferry to the island. This is the most beautiful and historic town on the island, painted a variety of bright colors. Looking across this beach, you might mistake Elba for the Caribbean. Generally, I think the Amalfi Coast and Capri in particular have more to offer. But if this is likely to be the only island of your trip, Elba is a fantastic choice. I had to see what happened.

And it was rewarding. A werewolf falls in love with a baby! And if you saw the movie, you might recall the appearance of Michael Sheen as the first person in the series who could actually act. Author Stephanie Meyer originally set the book in a fictitious Tuscan town, but she realized that the medieval town of Volterra had everything she wanted — a clock tower. Do note that New Moon was actually filmed in Montepulciano, not Volterra itself.

This stunning Duomo is a mix of Romanesque and Renaissance styles. Walk around and enjoy the medieval atmosphere. Volterra is yet another town that lends itself well to wandering.

See the Roman Amphitheater. Another city, another amphitheater! Visit for Volterra AD Note that Volterra is close to San Gimignano, and most day trips from Florence will bring you to San Gimignano as well.


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